The goal of this workshop is to provide clinicians with a deeper understanding of the impact of complex trauma and its assessment and treatment.  Clients with developmental trauma are among the most challenging clients to treat because of the severity of their symptoms and safety struggles.  Yet working with these individuals is also powerful and rewarding. Understanding how childhood trauma and attachment difficulties contribute to these clients’ difficult behaviors and symptoms can vastly improve clinicians’ conceptualization of their clients’ struggles, aid in treatment planning, and make this work more manageable and effective. 

Dr. Brand will emphasize conceptualizing clients’ difficulties so that therapists can have better outcomes and feel more comfortable providing treatment to complex trauma patients.  Participants will learn practical skills that are essential including supporting clients’ management of intrusive traumatic material and dissociation. Dr. Brand will present steps for assisting clients with stabilizing their safety struggles.  She will discuss how to gradually resolve their attachment difficulties.  Aspects of treating clients with severe dissociative reactions will also be reviewed.  Dr. Brand will make clinically-relevant research comprehensible and useful to clinicians.  Clinical vignettes, patients’ art work and journaling, and videos will be used to demonstrate treatment approaches. 

Learning objectives: 

  1. Participants will be able to describe the differences between classic versus complex PTSD.
  2. Participants will identify how to assess for complex PTSD and dissociation.
  3. Participants will recall several methods for dealing with clients’ attachment difficulties.
  4. Participants will describe three specific coping strategies to help contain traumatic memories
  5. Participants will describe three strategies for managing dissociation.


Day 1


Understanding Complex Trauma Disorders: It’s More Than “Just” PTSD 


Preparing for Treatment 


Preparing for Treatment (continued) 


Challenging Yet Possible: Stabilizing and Healing Patients’ Complex Reactions to Trauma in Sequenced Treatment 

Day 2

 Sequenced Treatment (continued)

 Working in the Internal World of Posttraumatic and Dissociative Adaptations 


Relational Issues